General Info,  Health,  Presentation/Appearance,  Social,  Thomas Gray Haile subcollection

With Love and Best Wishes

Thomas Gray Haile subcollection, cards 30, 21, 63, and 40.

Two cards from Madge for today (or is it three?), and one other. Here we go . . .

An open box containing flowers; a dove is perched on the ribbon; caption "With Love and Devotion"
Madge [unknown] to Thomas Haile, 18 February 1908

First up, one from Madge with a suitably love/romance-oriented image. A rather brief message, but bearing much in the way of implications:

Just nine more days until the twenty second–Dixie was down yesterday afternoon and I ‘spect yours and John’s ears burnt for we talked about you all the time Dixie is sick tell John. Be good

Madge [unknown] to Thomas Haile, 18 February 1908

One suspects the date reference was to when she next expected to see Thomas. Dixie evidently was a mutual friend, and a girlfriend of another mutual friend. As often/always, the closing reminder to “Be good”.

A little over a month later, we have this decidedly unsubtle card:

Three roses and the caption "To the one I Love"
Madge [unknown] to Thomas Haile, 20 March 1908

A strong statement, especially as the message suggested they’d recently had a difference of opinion over something, about which she wanted them to compromise.

Received your letter a few minutes ago and was real glad to get it. I will write you tomorrow and explain everything. I guess we’re both [unclear] [unclear]alt and ought to try to compromize don’t you?

Madge [unknown] to Thomas Haile, 20 March 1908

All of which led up to this interesting one (bringing the cats back in . . .):

Two cats each pulling on one arm of a third cat while two sunflowers watch. A line of music and the caption/song title "Two Little Girls Loved One Little Boy" Copyrighted by R.L. Wells 1905.
Mary [unknown] to Thomas Haile, 22 March 1908

The message wasn’t from Madge, but (as you can read above) referenced her. Here’s my full transcription

on back: “Hello Tom guess you will be surprised to get a card from me I have been mad all day Mary”

on front “can you sympathize with me? Madge is right sick but I think she will be alright by the morning”

Mary [unknown] to Thomas Haile, 22 March 1908

So many mysteries here. Who’s Mary, a relative of Madge? Did Mary have an interest in Madge or was the choice of card accidental? Why was Mary mad? What was Madge sick of? . . . can you think of more?

And then there’s this one:

A rose with thorns. Someone has handwritten "With love and best wishes"
[unknown, possibly Madge] to Thomas Haile, 25 March 1908

The handwriting on this closely resembles Madge’s, as does some of the language used–and the image! However the signature (what I could see of it under the marks) doesn’t look that much like her–and the salutation is more formal than usual. It’s possible she was mock-formal for this. My gut says it’s from her, but since I can’t decipher the signature I’m being cautious for now.

on back: “Dear Mr Haile Was so glad to get[?] your card. Do hope you and your friend will visit Lafayette in the summer time. Who is he? My friend of Haztenville[?] has just left and you [?] I’m feeling blue When did you hear from Laura + Miss [unclear] Be Good Sincerely yours [unclear]”

on front: “With love and best wishes”

[unknown, possibly Madge] to Thomas Haile, 25 March 1908

An important note: I’ll be taking the rest of the month off due to vacation and assorted other deadlines. More posts next month!

Copyright 2021 by A.R. Henle

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